Two amazing things happened to me this week. They might seem every day or not very exciting to you, but to someone who has lived inside a dark, protective mind-cave for nearly half a century they are pretty good to me.
Last Sunday I forgot to put make up on! I only wear eye makeup but its part of my morning routine and has been since I was in my teens. Even when I have been in hospital or was laid low with pneumonia – out come the brushes and on it goes. I guess it’s a mask I hide behind, one that gives me the confidence to face the outside world. On Sunday, I realised when I was getting ready for bed that I had been ‘au naturel’ all day – I’d gone for a walk with friends, been to the shops and spent time with my family. No-one noticed, no-one said I looked awful/old/tired, the world didn’t stop spinning and no dogs barked at me!
The second thing that happened was last night, I was winding down before bed, no TV, books, noise or anything, and I found myself smiling for no reason. I haven’t done that for many, many years. Like most of us, I laugh at things like films, jokes, articles or funny pets, I smile at people I meet regularly (its taken me a while to be comfortable with that!) but I honestly can’t remember the last time I found myself smiling to myself for no reason when alone and sitting quietly.
For me, forgetting to put my face on and smiling to myself represent big shifts in my mindset. I interpret this as a sign that I am finally discovering and accepting my true self and learning to love and value me for who I am, not who others want me to be. And as a ‘not good enough’ child, partner and adult, this is huge.
So, sixty isn’t the start of old age for me – it’s the start of my new age, an age when I will thrive, and seek adventures, experiences and growth.
I will be revealing my experiences and discoveries, sharing my mishaps (probably be a few of those) and discussing the ups, downs and ‘let’s not talk about those things’ of mid-adulthood (35 – 75) and sharing a bit of my background each month (or more often) here and via podcasts (search for ‘Surviving to Thriving at 60’) so check in regularly and see what I get up to!